Rugby

Joe Schmidt Hits Back At Shane Horgan Criticism Of Tommy Bowe Selection

Joe Schmidt Hits Back At Shane Horgan Criticism Of Tommy Bowe Selection

A month ago, following Ireland's defeat to Scotland in their opening game of the Six Nations, Shane Horgan was critical of Joe Schmidt's decision to hand Tommy Bowe the number 23 shirt for the game.

Speaking on Second Captains, Horgan labelled it 'a nostalgia call' by Schmidt.

He hasn't been playing well, I was very surprised that he was in the 23.

He then was brought on for one of Ireland's best backs, if not their best back at the weekend. I thought Earls consistently looked sharp. And then Tommy just didn't look as if he was up to the pace of the game at all. He had a negative contribution.

On Wednesday, after missing out on the matchday squads for the games against Italy and France, Bowe was again named in the Ireland 23 for Friday night's game against Wales.

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Schmidt said at yesterday's press conference that Bowe had been selected because he had been training so well in camp. This was a point he reiterated when addressing Horgan's criticism.

Shane hasn't spent any time in our environment, he's never seen Tommy train.

I think it's a typically external opinion that is purely opinion-based. We try to base our decision on how a player is performing. I've coached Shane and there's probably been times when people have questioned my selecting him.

There's always going to be people questioning selection. I feel that we're best placed; there's no way I'd say we get it right every time, because again, there's a human factor in coaching.

I'm not sure whether, over the last three and a half-four years, how many nostalgic decisions I've made. But I can't really remember many.

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PJ Browne
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